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08 - 08 - 2019

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Decagon is on a mission to help high potential Nigerians contribute meaningfully through technology. We transform fast learners into world-class software developers and connect them to job opportunities. Decagon's program takes a year’s worth of learning and compresses it into six months. The intensive physical learning experience, coupled with a comprehensive welfare package (accommodation, feeding, internet, laptop, stipend) keeps students focused solely on learning. Apply to join the 4th cohort here.

French media giant, Vivendi Group has signed a $40 million deal with the Rwandan government to develop and occupy the Kigali Cultural Village. Under the 20-year lease agreement, the digital entertainment company will build a 300-seat modern cinema hall, a 15,000-people open concert area and a children’s gaming area. Phase two of the project will include the completion of Universal Recording Studios, Gameloft E-gaming laboratory and testing factory as well as the Canal Factory, a compact TV and music recording studio for Rwandans who want to receive cinematography training. Vivendi Group owns Canal+ which recently acquired Nigeria-based Rok Studios. Rwanda hopes the project will help position the country as a regional entertainment & cultural hub complete with a robust talent pool for the industry.

The Uganda Communications Commission now requires that online media platforms and influencers pay a license fee of $20. The government says it is regulating online publishers to check misinformation and violence but critics say the primary reason is to suppress free speech. Museveni is however not alone in his quest to control the internet. Abubakar tracks the dangerous pattern across a number of African countries in this TechCabal story.
Nairobi-based Ilara Health has raised $735,000 seed funding from ShakaVC, Chandaria Capital, Villgro Kenya and a group of angel investors. The diagnostics startup will use the funds to expand within Kenya and for product development. Ilara Health was founded in 2018 and it provides low-cost artificial intelligence (AI) powered diagnostic devices to primary care doctors in peri-urban and rural clinics.
There's been a rapid increase in the number of ride-hailing services in Africa since 2013 when Uber launched in Johannesburg. As of 2016, there were about 56 of them. This week, two new ride-hailing services have launched; Pickmeup in Abeokuta, Southwest, Nigeria and Zeelo in South Africa. On the 27th of September we are bringing together the most knowledgeable and influential mobility entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers at TC Townhall: Mobility to explore, discuss and define the activity in Africa’s ride-hailing and mobility sector, the challenges and what the future holds. Click here to find out more about the event and sponsorship opportunities.
Pan-African hub network, AfriLabs has partnered with the African Union Commission Department of Human Resource, Science and Technology to host the 2019 AfriLabs Annual Gathering in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Now in its fourth edition, the conference will hold between 28th - 30th October with the theme ‘Connect: Towards an Integrated Innovation Ecosystem.’ Register here to attend.

Endeavor Nigeria is hiring for three roles including Manager, Marketing & Communications; Manager, Entrepreneur Selection & Growth and Associate, Entrepreneur Selection & Growth. Click on the respective links to find out more and apply. Endeavor selects, mentors and accelerates the best High-Impact Entrepreneurs around the world.

Match Group, the parent company of Tinder has acquired Harmonica, an Egyptian dating app focused on the Muslim demographics. The details of the deal are expected to be announced in a press conference on the 26th of August. However, what we do know is that Harmonica was founded in 2017, has facilitated hundreds of marriages and raised $180,000 in known funding from 500 Startups and Flat6Labs. This will be the first major exit with significant returns within just a little over a year for Egyptian accelerator, Flat6Labs. The deal is part of the Match Group's international expansion strategy which is targeting young people in Asia and the Middle East that are not served by Western products. While there are not a ton of exits involving African startups, this could rank as one of the prominent ones.

The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSTEF) & the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) are requesting for grant application proposals for their Employability Programme from training organisations in Lagos State. Organizations providing on-demand skills training can apply here before Friday, August 30th, 2019.

Dutch company, NOTS Solar Lamps has signed a $70 million deal with Rwanda to build a manufacturing facility for solar home systems. The company will manufacture affordable, pay-as-you-go solar home systems for low-income families and in return, the Rwandan government will buy 100,000 units. NOTS plans to make and sell 900,000 SHS in Rwanda over the next four years thereby providing electricity to about 4.2 million people.

MTN Nigeria recently acquired its first financial services license. In this article, Victor Asemota writes about why it took this long highlighting the peculiar, fear-driven relationship between banks and telcos in the country as well as lessons from MTN's success in Nigeria.

Applications are now open for Founders Factory Africa's Healthtech and Fintech Accelerator.  Startups will get access to a team of more than 50 technical specialists and operators that provide the expertise startups need to scale. Interested founders can apply here.

Thanks for reading,

We'll be back tomorrow.   - Olanrewaju
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